By on October 29, 2019

Image: Ford

For a model that encompassed a single (but very long) generation, the Ford Flex made a big impact on Ford Motor Company’s image, to say nothing of its fortunes.

You probably don’t remember June 3rd, 2008, but that was the day the boxy, funky Flex first rolled off the assembly line at Ford’s Oakville, Ontario plant. You probably do recall the events of Monday, October 28th, 2019, however, and one thing that should stick with you is this: Ford has officially pulled the plug on the Flex. A handful of models will roll out until some point in November, but today marks the big wind-down.

With the imminent loss of the Flex and the recent death of its Lincoln MKT platform mate (which wrapped up production earlier this month), the automaker’s lineup, like that of so many others, stands to become just a little more devoid of originality. (Read More…)

By on October 25, 2019

2016 Infiniti Q70 Premium Select Edition

Infiniti’s largest passenger car is making like the brand’s presence in Western Europe and biting the dust. As the brand’s sales falter, the slow-selling Q70 sedan positioned at the top of the lineup has been discontinued, further reducing Infiniti’s product offerings.

The cancellation was heralded by last year’s axing of the seldom-seen hybrid model. (Read More…)

By on September 17, 2019

Admit it — you weren’t aware Chevrolet made a hybrid version of the midsize Malibu. You’d be forgiven for replying in the affirmative, as the variant introduced for the 2016 model year sported a profile lower than that of an SOE agent in occupied France.

And yet the Malibu Hybrid lived. But now it must die. (Read More…)

By on September 3, 2019

fiat cabrio abarth 500

The model that helped relaunch a long-departed brand — a brand which subsequently failed to clear the tower — is effectively dead in North America. Fiat Chrysler has taken the retro-themed, pint-sized Fiat 500 off life support, removing it from the brand’s North American offerings for 2020.

The newly turbocharged 500, its beefier Abarth brother, and the eco-warrior 500e electric, were victims of America’s unrelenting desire for large, spacious automobiles. The illness took hold almost as soon as the 500 arrived. (Read More…)

By on August 23, 2019

Image: Lexus

The Lexus GS, a midsize, rear-drive sports sedan that first rode into the North American market in 1993, is today a slow-selling model in danger of discontinuation.

For 2020, one member of the GS lineup will indeed bite the dust. (Read More…)

By on June 21, 2019

With Jaguar’s XJ sedan on its way out, the company is actively working on a replacement using its new Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). Like many modern platforms, MLA can be be adapted for use in electric, plug-in hybrid, and mild-hybrid applications… and the automotive firm no doubt plans to squeeze every dime it can out of that built-in versatility.

Following the debut of a large premium sedan that’s supposed to replace the XJ sometime next year, MLA will see action at Land Rover — underpinning the new Ranger Rover in 2021. Eventually the automaker intends to use MLA as the basis for most future models, hopefully reducing development and manufacturing costs after posting a $4.6 billion loss earlier this year.  (Read More…)

By on May 30, 2019

Once the sedan of choice for discerning Anglophiles and 1980s crime-fighting New Yorkers played by Edward Woodward, Jaguar’s XJ has seen a long fall from grace. This summer, the stately model officially hits the ground.

Amid tanking sales for both it and its sedan stablemates, the Jaguar XJ will cease production in a matter of months, with the automaker claiming its death is merely a passing phase. (Read More…)

By on May 23, 2019

It’s the end of an era. Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz announced the death of the SLC (formerly SLK) roadster, and today Audi announced it will do the same to its own two-seat roadster and four-place coupe.

The TT first appeared in late 1998, bringing youthful excitement and distinctive design to the brand’s sedan-heavy lineup. It also served as an excellent rival to the SLK, which bowed a couple of years earlier. Thanks to dwindling sales and Audi’s push for electrification, the recently refreshed TT is now doomed.

It’s not the only gas-powered model that could disappear from the lineup, either. (Read More…)

By on May 14, 2019

2018 Cadillac XTS, Image: General Motors

Following last week’s announcement of a new, less-populous future for General Motors’ once doomed Oshawa Assembly plant, a promise backed up by $170 million in company cash, the union representing workers at the Canadian facility has revealed when its current products will bite the dust.

Under a company-wide streamlining effort outlined last year, Oshawa would reach “unallocated” status by the end of 2019. That’s still the plan, but two full-size car models will cease production before that. It’s advantageous that Ford Motor Company decided to keep the Lincoln MKT in production, as one of the culled models is the Cadillac XTS. (Read More…)

By on May 1, 2019

Image: Nissan

Almost exactly a decade after the 370Z went on sale in North America, Nissan has confirmed that the convertible version of the aging sports coupe will disappear from the company’s lineup after the 2019 model year.

News of the discontinuation comes as anticipation builds (it’s had a long time to build) for a next-generation Z car — a yet-unseen vehicle at the center of years of rumors. (Read More…)

By on April 29, 2019

smart fortwo electric

The brand discontinuation we’ve all been waiting for has come to pass.

One month after the city car-building Smart brand’s salvation at the hands of China’s Geely, parent company Daimler has announced the 2019 model year will be Smart’s last in North America.

Say goodbye to a single electric model with a range of 58 miles. (Read More…)

By on April 6, 2019

Journalists who holler nonstop for “affordable cars!” have one less model to choose from. As it isn’t a vehicle patterned off the original Fiat 124/Lada 1200, with the quality and handling of a BMW, suffice it to say the Nissan Versa Note probably didn’t rank high on their might-buy list.

And yet the Versa Note did offer buyers a cheap way to move five people and a decent amount of cargo from place to place, with a standard continuously variable automatic sweetening the pot for those who never bothered learning a stick. After 2019, it’s gone from North American dealers. (Read More…)

By on February 21, 2019

2018 Toyota Prius C - Image: Toyota.com

Toyota’s Prius C, introduced in North America in 2012, was a good idea that didn’t generate much consumer (or reviewer) acclaim. As an entry-level hybrid slotted below the Prius and wagony Prius V, the Prius C was no powerhorse. Its 1.5-liter four-cylinder/electric motor combo cranked out a combined 99 horsepower, a figure that still stands today. Journos found it lacking in both performance and ride quality.

Around these parts, I can’t recall the last Prius C I saw that wasn’t part of a Vrtucar fleet.

Well, kiss the Prius C goodbye, as it’s on its way to the automotive afterlife. Unlike other passenger car discontinuations, however, there’s a replacement waiting in the wings. (Read More…)

By on February 20, 2019

Image: ford

Ford’s attempt at streamlining its global business is already well underway in Europe and the United States, but those regions aren’t the only locales to see cuts. Announced Tuesday, Ford Motor Company will bring the axe down in South America.

Brazil, once home to Henry Ford’s utopian rubber town, stands to lose local production of three vehicles, including two truck models that look oddly familiar. Almost like something the author’s neighbor drives. Also in Ford’s plan: the scrapping of its heavy commercial trucks. (Read More…)

By on February 16, 2019

2016 Buick Cascada

Everyone knew this was coming, but now it’s official. The current model year will be the Buick Cascada’s last.

Hitting dealer (and rental) lots in the U.S. at the dawn of 2016, the Opel-built drop top motivated its two-ton weight with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder — an engine that gave away the model’s European heritage. With Opel no longer in the hands of General Motors, Americans stand to lose another model that, while perhaps not hugely desirable, is at least interesting and different. (Read More…)

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